Money is the main thing keeping son out of a performance masters now, and he continues to vascillate. He has a number of top programs pegged, and has a good shot a many, if not all on the list. We all know audition based admits are a big if, and the grad assistantships/fellowships tend to go to the cream of the crop at any particular institution. He figures between his performance background, his intensive chamber background, his coaching and teaching experience, he'll have a number of options open for a GA/TA or performance fellowship.
His undergrad student loans are just a tad under the max amount allowed under federal programs, so he's not overburdened there. He's reluctant to apply, get an acceptance, gain little or no funding and have to reply on more loans to fund grad school. At this point he knows we're tapped out, and can't aid him financially for school.
I've told him to apply, and see what happens. If there's little or no funding, he doesn't have to accept. He is living at home, we charge him an extremely modest "rent" in our high cost of living area, and he is saving money, but is also covering his undergrad loans, health & car insurance. Seems when he gets a bit ahead, pro audition travel and overnight accomodation expenses drain his resources.
His choice of schools and our geographic location make it such that he can still go to grad school "locally" and maintain his current regional chair. Depending on actual school, he may still be able to live at home and effectively commute to school, via car or rail, potentially saving some room and board money.